Spring has sprung, and so have the Fleas
While most of the country is finally thawing out from the winters deep-freeze. We will begin to spend more time outside in the nice weather. Enjoying dog parks, long walks, and hikes, your puppy or dog can pick up fleas. Once they are in your home, it can become a never-ending battle.
While fleas normally lay dormant during the winter, depending on the conditions in your home during the winter months. The heat sources provided indoors can cause a flea infestation.
You are probably wondering what does this have to do with dog training. Well, trying to train a puppy that has to stop and scratch constantly, makes training, and getting your puppies attention a difficult one.
I’m not a big fan of fleas shampoos that have chemicals in them to kill the fleas, and puppies under the age of 12 weeks can not have these products used on them. We have to look at other alternatives.
Once you have fleas in your home, it becomes a project to get rid of all of them. The outside yard needs to be treated, the inside of your home, including furniture and any pet bedding. However, treatment of your puppy is necessary.
Even though I have an older dog, I prefer not to use chemicals on her. She does need bathing every 10 days when the fleas are hot on the trail. I have found this method to work well, and we also used it at the humane society when I worked there many moons ago.
To create a natural shampoo: mix 2 cups of purified water, and a ½ cup of natural liquid soap (be sure that it is a natural soap). Now I have added my ingredient of adding 3 teaspoons of lavender essential oil. In doing some of my research I have found the fleas and other insects don’t like the smell of lavender. The other thing I use is organic apple cider vinegar rinse. My dog is older now and she tends to get dry skin. I make a mixture of eight ounces of distilled water and ½ organic, raw apple cider vinegar. After shampoo and rinse, I use the vinegar mixture as a rinse, or dip if you will. Don’t rinse off the cider vinegar mixture. This is another scent that fleas, gnats, and no-see-ums dislike. Be sure not to get this in their eyes.
Now to get rid of the fleas in your yard naturally, you can buy Nematodes from a pet or garden store. Nematodes are small, microscopic worms that eat flea larvae. Most people will put them in a lawn sprayer and spray their lawn. The best place for them is a shaded, moist area, they do not survive well in sunny dry areas, and fleas also look for the shaded moist areas as well.
Now for the inside of your home, an electric flea zapper is available.
These choices will help keep your home, yard, and puppy flea free without the use of harsh chemicals. However, when using natural products you have to be vigilant, and keep up the treatments.
Once you have the fleas, and other nasty bugs that pester your puppy, you can get back to training with the stop and scratch.
If any of you have some great natural ways to rid your home, lawn, and puppy or dog from these nasty bugs, I would love to hear from you,
Until next time,
Suzanne Dean, ABCDT
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